The very secret of life for me, I believed, was to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquility. - Margaret Bourke-White
Welcome to July at Tranquil Space. This month we’re offering our weekly lineup of 100 creative classes plus workshops including barre + yoga, arm balancing, yoga + writing, yoga for anxiety, heart-inspired yoga, and more. Peruse our offerings and we hope you’ll find something special to grow your practice on and off the yoga mat.
I’ve recently returned from a 7-day retreat with Jon Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness-based stress reduction. After eight months on the waiting list, I received a call a few days before it began letting me know a spot had opened. To be in his presence, a pioneer in the mindfulness field and someone I’ve read from for years, was an absolute honor. What a truly gifted teacher and human being. I look forward to sharing the experience with you in the weekly mindfulness class at our Dupont Circle location.
As we move closer to the celebration of our 15th year, I’m continuing the storytelling of our humble beginnings, our core values and how we strive to live them, my first yoga experience, and how the name Tranquil Space came to be. This month we’re exploring the term tranquility and its practice.
During a recent writing workshop, I shared my an excerpt from my latest book, Tranquilologie. There were confused faces around the term tranquility. A struggle to see how one can experience tranquility while doing volunteering, crafting dreams, penning love notes, and taking artist dates.
Tranquility may sound like time at the spa, meditation in a remote setting, or escaping the day-to-day on a solo vacation. How can one practice tranquility and do the suggested daily, weekly, and monthly checklists laid out in Tranquilologie (see below)?
Embracing tranquility while living a busy and full life is where I get inspired. It’s understandable to feel tranquil while on vacation or meditating away from everyday concerns. But finding tranquility “in the midst of rushing events,” as the quote above by Bourke-White mentions, now that’s where it gets juicy. Thus, I’ve rewritten the definition to reflect my take on it and above is a fun graphic to serve as a reminder.
In Living Your Yoga, Judith Lasater explains that practicing pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses and one of the eight limbs of yoga) involves being in the middle of a busy marketplace and not affected by all that is going on around you. Think Black Friday at a big box store. You are centered and at peace even among chaos.
Next time you’re in an overstimulating environment or rushing from A to B, stop, take a deep breath, and remember that tranquility can be yours. You have the choice to respond mindfully or react habitually. Keep this in mind while stuck in traffic or on a crowded beach this holiday weekend. Inhale, exhale.
Tranquility is: wrapping your hands around a warm cuppa tea, taking a deep breath in the midst of tension, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, feeling comfortable in your own skin, spending quality time with loved ones (sans smartphone), living authentically, savoring a homemade meal, doing work that feels good, walking in the woods surrounded by fall foliage, getting clear on what you want, constantly learning, savoring a green juice, penning deep thoughts in a journal, feeling sunshine on your skin, stepping just outside your comfort zone, meeting a deadline with grace (or at all), pausing and doing a body scan.
Explore the quality of calm within your full and meaningful life. Now that, my friends, is my definition of tranquility. What is tranquility to you? My hope is that you experience a piece of it every time you step into our studios. Namaste.